Gaura astounds us with its haze of lighter than air blooms and easy care. The white or pink buds open slowly so this perennial blooms for a long time, from late spring to frost. But one of the best things about it is that way it self cleans, the petals drop off before getting brown or ratty, and more starry blooms continue the show. Deadheading or pruning spent stems to the base will keep it a little more compact and tidy looking but is not neccessary. A heavy prune in the early spring will keep it looking its best. Gaura is a Southwest native so it is tolerant of drought, sandy soils (thus requiring good drainage), and full, hot sun as well as being cold hardy. Gaura has a taproot so can be long lived and very drought tolerant once established. The wand-like stems can rise 2-1/2'-4' tall and arch out up to 3' wide. It can be used at the back of a border because it's vase shape form allows the flowers to float above shorter perennials. It also works in the front of a border because its airy stems and blossoms don't block out other plants, or its arching form can cascade over a wall. Gaura has proven deer resistant in most Rogue Valley gardens. It has a very naturalistic and informal look, pairing best with ornamental grasses, Caryopteris, and Sages.
The varieties we usually carry are:
Gaura 'Siskiyou Pink'- developed by Baldassare at Rogue Valley's own Siskiyou Rare Plant Nursery, this is a lovely medium pink, usually 2-3'x3'
Gaura 'Whirling Butterflies'- a pink bud opening to a lovely white bloom with flushes of pink at the base. Usually larger, at least 3-4' tall and looks best if it can arch out to at least 3-4'.
Gaura 'So White'- for the purist, this is a true white with no hint of pink. Very clean and elegant and bit more compact at 2'x2'
Gaura 'Belleza' - dark pink flowers on red stems. This variety is smaller than most other Gauras, and generall gets to be 1'-2' tall and wide - perfect for the smaller garden!